Dean of libraries to step down in June

Suzanne Thorin, dean of libraries and university librarian, announced in a press release Monday that she will step down from her position, effective June 30.

Eric Spina, vice chancellor and provost, said Thorin informed him of her plans to step down “a few months ago.” Thorin could not be reached for comment.

Thorin, who has worked at Syracuse University for the past eight years, has been a “transformative dean for the libraries,” Spina said. Because of Thorin, he added, the print, electronic and special collections have improved. In addition, Thorin placed a strong emphasis on the needs of students and faculty.

Under Thorin, the Learning Commons in E.S. Bird Library was developed, the Belfer Audio Laboratory was reopened and renovations were made to the SU Library Facility and Carnegie Library, according to a Feb. 11 SU News release.

“She brought a sense of importance to the libraries for students and faculty,” Spina said. “She knew the library needed to evolve with the rapidly changing technology.”

Spina added that Thorin also established a strong library staff as dean.

Before coming to SU, Thorin spent nine years at Indiana University as university dean of libraries and associate vice president for Digital Library Programs. She also worked at the Library of Congress for 16 years, specifically as chief of staff to the Librarian of Congress. President Barack Obama appointed Thorin to the National Advisory Board of the Institute for Museum and Library Services last year, according to the release.

Though Spina said it was too early to discuss someone filling Thorin’s position, he will be meeting with various SU committees in the upcoming weeks to discuss the process of finding a new dean. Specifically, Spina said, he will be speaking with the college deans, the library committee, representatives in the University Senate and various science department chairs.

Spina added that he hopes to build on the strong foundation Thorin created, and find an interim dean relatively quickly.

“Dean Thorin was the right dean for Syracuse at the right time,” Spina said. “She had a vision for accomplishing a lot with modest resources. She was able to really harness those resources.”


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